Quarterback battle continues as spring football nears close

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

Saluki football completed their second scrimmage of the spring Sunday.

Fans had the opportunity to see the quarterbacks on display as the battle to replace former senior quarterback Matt DeSomer continues.

There are five quarterbacks on Southern’s roster including junior Karé Lyles who transferred from Scottsdale Community College and redshirt freshman Nic Baker from Rochester.

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Blake Rolan, the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, said he is looking to see if the quarterbacks can stretch plays out if needed.

“You are always looking for those quarterbacks who can extend the play,” Rolan said. “Either with their arm talent or now more than ever you see in college football athleticism.”

Throughout spring camp for the Salukis all of the quarterbacks have shown the ability to extend the play, so naming the number one quarterback has been difficult, Rolan said.

“Throughout camp, they’ve all had glimpses and that’s why it’s been hard to really separate one two three four on the depth chart,” Rolan said.

Baker and Lyles received a majority of the repetitions in the scrimmage and head coach Nick Hill said each opportunity by both quarterbacks was watched carefully.

“Each rep has been graded and been thought out, the number of reps are actually pretty close,” Hill said.

Hill reflected the sentiments of Rolan as for what kind of quarterback he looks to lead this team in the fall.

“We always want to have an athletic quarterback, you’ve got to be able to make plays with your feet,” Hill said. “You look around from professional football to college football the quarterbacks that are playing at the highest level are able to extend plays.”

Baker standing at 5-foot-8 tall did not seem to struggle seeing over his line during the scrimmage and Rolan said Baker has had to adjust to his stature at quarterback his whole career.

“I think he’s had to his whole life, he’s found ways techniques to see,eventually over reps  he’s figured himself out,” Rolan said.

In the scrimmage Hill decided to let it go live, therefore allowing the players to tackle and Baker said he enjoyed the fact he was able to show his abilities with going live.

“I’ve been complaining a lot when they tag off, I’ve been saying I’m not getting sacked and not a lot of people believed me,” Baker said. “I showed a little escapability today.”

Baker said how young all the quarterbacks are in chase of the number one spot yet as they grow he thought it would help the offense.

“Especially in the quarterback room we’re young. Karé, he is probably the oldest, but he’s new,” Baker said. “Just growing, especially in the quarterback room, helps everywhere else.”

Adam Warfel, Sports Editor, can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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